“If you still like driving, we’re still ahead,” so goes the Fiat catchphrase promoting the 2014 version of its sedan, the Linea. Indeed, the Linea T-Jet petrol is among the finest driver’s cars you will find under Rs 10 lakh. The 2014 edition of the sedan gets a thorough facelift and a major interior update. And the petrol motor remains as good as ever.
Not as flashy as the Verna, not as timeless as the Rapid, and not as futuristic as the City, yet the design of the Linea stands out—it is clean, curvy and the facelift does a great job of giving the Linea a more premium look. There is a lot of chrome trim all around and the two-slat front grille looks striking. At the back, the number plate is now on the boot lid. The front and rear bumpers look fresh, as do the new alloy wheels. The car doesn’t look vastly different from the sides though—the only change being ORVMs that have side-indicators on them.
Open and shut the doors of the Linea and you will find that it is built like a tank. The ‘thud’ sound the doors produce are a testimony to its exceptional build quality. The Linea was and remains a solid European car. Step inside and you will see that Fiat has completely reworked the cabin. The colour scheme—black and beige—is a treat for the eyes. The in-cabin lighting is a warm orange glow and the new dials look smart. The digital trip computer provides a lot of information, including trip readings, distance-to-empty figure, average speed, average fuel-consumption and real-time fuel-efficiency. There is ample space all around, though some tall people sitting at the rear may find their head scraping the roof lining. The top-end variants get reverse parking sensor, dual airbags, Blue & Me technology, cruise control, auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers (standard on all variants) and collapsible rear sun curtain. The boot space is a huge 500 litres.
This 1368-cc 16 valve T-Jet petrol engine churns out an impressive 112.4 bhp at a high 5,000 rpm. Further, the 207 Nm of torque generated at 2,200 rpm is among the highest in its class. In fact, so powerful is this motor that as soon as you step on the gas, the car shoots ahead. And it is not just limited to initial acceleration. When the engine reaches 2,000 rpm and the turbocharger kicks in, you